Kettlebell clean

Proper Kettlebell Clean Names You Probably Did Not Know

“Clean your kettlebell(s)” everyone says it, even I, because it’s so much easier than using the full name. Anytime an exercise becomes common, the name usually gets shortened or the new name becomes the standard. Take the CrossFit Burpee for example, it’s a “Push-up Jump Burpee” but they call it a “Burpee”.

CrossFit Burpee


What is a clean?

Before going any further, allow me to define the ‘clean’.

The clean is an explosive lower-body powered exercise that brings a weight from a lower position to the racking position (chest height). ~ Taco Fleur



Different type of kettlebell cleans

Following is a basic run down of all fundamental kettlebell clean variations available

  1. Assisted clean (single arm)
  2. Dead clean* (single, alternating or double arm)
  3. Dead swing Clean (single, alternating or double arm)
  4. Hang clean (single, alternating or double arm)
  5. Swing clean (single, alternating or double arm)

Number five is the one that everyone is highly familiar with, it’s the clean that most people are first taught, and thus it’s the one that gets the honour to wear the short version of it’s name ‘CLEAN’.


*Dead clean

With the dead clean there is the squat or hip hinge style, but I personally don’t like to load the posterior chain muscles with an explosively movement like this, especially with a heavy weight, and I believe that the squat version due to the upright position of the torso is the safest, having said that, some people are simply not able to perform the squat version due to their body shape or length. In my personal opinion the dead swing clean is the safest technique for cleaning a heavy weight hip hinge style.

With all that said, we could create even more fancy variations of the clean, i.e. the dead clean being split into squat and hip hinge style, and then also adding different stances.

  1. Single arm assisted clean
  2. Single arm squat dead clean
  3. Single arm hip hinge dead clean
  4. Single arm dead swing clean
  5. Double arm dead swing clean
  6. Single arm hang clean
  7. Single arm swing clean
  8. Double arm swing clean
  9. Dead diagonal squat clean
  10. Dead diagonal squat clean
  11. Dead staggered squat clean (knee is past the ankle, loading the quads more)
  12. Dead lunge clean (knee does not travel past the ankle)
  13. Lawnmower clean (quads are fully loaded)


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I’ve made a video on kettlebell clean variations many years ago, which you can see below, I’m not proud of it, as there is a lot that can be cleaned up (pun intended), years later my technique has improved, even so, comparing the video below to others, I think it provides more help than some of the other videos out there, hence the reason I left it up.


Receiving the kettlebell

You can also change the way you receive the kettlebell, usually this is with everything locked out, but you can also initiate the clean and receive it in squat position; a pull powered by the legs and then coming under the kettlebell with a squat, great for extremely heavy kettlebells; you could also receive it in a split lunge etc.

Next you can start adding alternating reps, and finally you can work with one or two kettlebells. With that said, lets list them all.

  1. Single arm assisted clean
  2. Single arm squat dead clean
  3. Alternating arm squat dead clean
  4. Double kettlebell squat dead clean
  5. Single arm hip hinge dead clean
  6. Alternating arm hip hinge dead clean
  7. Double kettlebell hip hinge dead clean
  8. Single arm dead swing clean
  9. Alternating arm dead swing clean
  10. Double kettlebell dead swing clean
  11. Double arm one kettlebell dead swing clean
  12. Single arm hang clean
  13. Alternating arm hang clean
  14. Double kettlebell hang clean
  15. Single arm swing clean
  16. Alternating arm swing clean
  17. Double arm one kettlebell swing clean
  18. Double kettlebell swing clean
  19. Single arm dead diagonal squat clean
  20. Single arm dead diagonal hip hinge clean
  21. Single arm dead staggered squat clean (knee is past the ankle, loading the quads more)
  22. Single arm dead lunge clean (knee does not travel past the ankle)
  23. Single arm lawnmower clean (quads are fully loaded)

If I used the way you receive the kettlebell as another variation we could turn this list into 45 kettlebell clean variations, but lets not go there.


Even if I say so myself “this is the most comprehensive list of kettlebell clean variations”, if you want to see a video of all these variations, simple help out by liking and sharing this post, if it hits 1,000 I’ll work on a video incorporating all kettlebell clean variations mentioned, make sure you subscribe to our Youtube channel to stay up to date.


More on the naming of the CrossFit Burpee here

Other articles I wrote on getting specific with exercise naming:

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